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White Christian Friend, I Hear Your Silence.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by MAGAorMIGA, Nov 8, 2019.


    MAGAorMIGA Star commenter


    When people are pressed up against nightmares in the daylight—words are powerful, but they can’t hold a candle to silence.

    Silence can be a far more brutal weapon in doing them damage.

    White Christian friend, I want you to know that I hear yours right now.

    I’ve heard it since November 9th, 2016, actually.

    Since that day, I’ve witnessed your steady and staggering lack of volume—while the world has been turned upside down for so many people.

    As refugee families were stranded at the airport,
    as marching Nazis were coddled by the President,
    as protections for the land and the water were erased,
    as healthcare was sabotaged in the middle of the night—
    I’ve scanned your face and your social media profile for any evidence of outrage, any semblance of compassion, and urgency whatsoever.
    I’ve leaned in and held my breath, waiting to hear you speak some opposition or voice any disgust.
    Every day I’ve looked for a tipping point in your heart, when you would finally break your silence and speak.


    Nothing about predatory Alabama Senators.
    Nothing about multi billion dollar border walls.
    Nothing about sexual assault accusations against the President.
    Nothing about ICE raids in hospital rooms.
    Nothing about Evangelical preachers defending discrimination.
    Nothing about Tweet taunts of North Korea.
    Nothing about the expulsion of Dreamers.
    Nothing about Medicaid erosion.
    Nothing about tearful airport family goodbyes.

    Nothing about shithole countries comments by the leader of the Free World.

    It’s as if three years ago you vanished, as if you you’ve become a practical ghost: here, but having no tangible effect on the planet, other than your silence and disappearance.

    I’m not sure if you’re embarrassed and hiding, or secretly jubilant, or frozen with fear, but in a way none of that matters. The result is the same: you have declared yourself a conscientious objector in the war for other people’s well-being. You’ve barricaded yourself in the bunker of your privilege and you think no one notices.

    I do.

    I notice because I know you.
    I’ve sat alongside you in church.
    I’ve heard the religion you profess.
    I know the faith you claim in a dark-skinned Jesus who lived among the marginalized and the poor.
    I know how many weeks you spent on mission trips in those supposed “shithole countries,” being humbled and blessed by those beautiful people.
    I know how moved you claimed to be at the thought of young women being trafficked: the faceless #MeToos thousands of miles away.
    I know how willingly you recited that God so loved the world—a world far bigger than America.
    I know how often you read the stories of foreigners finding welcoming, of Jesus turned away at the inn, of angels being entertained in the guise of needy strangers.
    I know how many times you’ve heard Jesus’ call to love the least; those forgotten and oppressed and pushed to the margins.
    I know how diametrically opposite this America is to that message.
    And I know that despite your complete Monday through Saturday silence—that you’ll be really loud come this Sunday.

    This Sunday, you’ll again find yourself in a room (probably filled with other white Christians), and you’ll raise your hands skyward and bellow loudly and shout your amens.
    You’ll be boisterous in claiming to bear witness to a non-Christian, Middle Eastern Jesus, who calls you to be transformative salt and light in toxic, dark places;
    who demands you be a visible expression of compassion, love, mercy, and justice;
    who compels you to mercy for the wayward and vulnerable.
    In that room for that hour, your voice will be booming, your declarations unmistakable, your convictions clear.

    Which is why your silence right now is such a sin of omission—because you should know better; because you say you know Jesus, because you claim to seek his heart; because you claim you desire to walk so close behind him in this life, as to be covered by his dust.

    Because if this is all true, then right now you should be
    the loudest of voices, the one screaming from the rooftops, the one flipping over tables; the one braving the slings and arrows of the bigots and the predators and the moneylenders and the bullies.

    Your activism should be involuntary right now, instead of invisible.

    I imagine you think that when this nightmare is over and things find some sense of order, that you’ll be off the hook, that no one will recall your silence—but you would be wrong.

    I’ll remember just how quiet you were, just how little outrage you expressed, just how many times you could have been the Good Samaritan—but turned your head and walked to the other side of the street; leaving someone bleeding and someone else to tend to their wounds.

    Jesus will remember it too.

    White Christian friend, I don’t care what you do on Sunday for an hour in a building.
    That’s the easiest time and place to have convictions.

    That is a paper tiger faith; one that has no real teeth and no true power.

    It is the greatest of empty religious performances.

    Fortunately there are plenty of people of faith out there who are speaking, who are stepping into the fray, who are naming and opposing this ugliness—but not enough of us. I keep hoping you’ll join us.

    I’ve been waiting for a year here outside that building and that hour on Sunday, for you to break your silence and loudly resist all that is so terrible.

    I won’t hold my breath any longer, while you hold your tongue.

    Just know that I hear you.
  2. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter


    Seems to be the same straw-man fallacies that you utilize to demonize those who disagree with you. You have done, what many have probably, and rightly , accused some right wing pastors of doing. You have confused your political ideology with your religious belief to the point that your determination if someone is a Christian depends solely upon whether they agree with your left leaning beliefs.

    You also like to rely upon false dilemma fallacy. For example, with Charlottesville, it is either your completely condemn the Neo Nazi and nothing else, or you must be supportive of Neo Nazi, and therefore are a just an evil White Nationalist Christian. When in reality, most of the white Christians you are comfortable condemning abhor Neo Nazis and the violence they brought, but also abhor Antifa and they violence brought to the table that day. Some of them may also disagree with the notion of taking down statues, not because they want to celebrate the Confederacy, but see a value in preserving reminders of our history, and are concerned about what’s next? Do you ban the National Anthem due to some versus you don’t like? Do we take down the Jefferson Memorial?

    You mourn that people ran to Trump, and wonder why it happened.
    Yet, you fail to realize the role you played in making this happen. You labelled George W. Bush as a racist. Yet he was the man responsible for Pepfar, which saved millions of black lives. You tarred and feathered John McCain, a war hero who defended his opponent against nasty attacks. You then brutally attacked Mitt Romney, another good and decent man. And now you wonder why folks flocked to a man who was willing to play the game at your level.

    You also seem to not understand that the folks you are trying to convince see through some of the hypocrisy in your article. You bemoan their silence against the President for his attitudes towards women. Yet, where was the chorus of condemnations from the left when you supported Bill Clinton for 8 years? Two wrongs don’t make a right, but it gets tiresome when we constantly see “you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?”

    You want to know the Christians you hope to persuade are silent? It is because they know it is no use trying to engage folks who see them nothing but as the absurd caricature that you have created.
    alex_teccy likes this.

    MAGAorMIGA Star commenter

    "You" being John Pavlovitz, the author of the OP. The fact is that too many white evangelicals are standing by silently as their religion has been hijacked by the purveyors of the "prosperity gospel", and as they use it to promote the immoral and unethical President America now has. Good people who want government which is moral and just should not stand idly by, and far less actively vote for the regime now in the Oval Office.
    SundaeTrifle and grumpydogwoman like this.
  4. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I haven't read the whole of this opening post, it just looks like a hardly coherant racist and faithist rant of some kind,
    alex_teccy, xmal, peter12171 and 4 others like this.

    MAGAorMIGA Star commenter

    It is a fact that white evangelicals voted Trump (81% of them) while black evangelicals voted Clinton (93% of them).
    The post is complaining about this kind of thing:
  6. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    Why does the OP follow the writings of John Pavolitz? Got no time for evangelicals myself.
    nomad likes this.
  7. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Most Christians I know are left-leaning - I am myself, as my posts should have made obvious. I know a few Christians who I suspect may vote Tory at times. I know none who are radically right wing. And I know a lot of Christians.
    lanokia likes this.
  8. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    [Carries on quietly being atheist]
  9. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter


    I had a thought about this a while ago. The whole idea of atheist is dependent on some people being theists, so they have defined atheists as the outgroup of people who don't believe what they believe. So being an atheist isn't really a thing in itself and wouldn't exist without theists who I think are a bit daft to believe what they believe.

    I no more believe in gods than I believe in pixies or unicorns, but wouldn't go around telling people I was pixie agnostic or a unicorn disbeliever, I just don't consider it or think about it at all.

    Believers might need a word to describe themselves, but I don't need a special word to say that I am not like them in that aspect.

    However if pushed on the matter by a theist I will continue to tell them I am agnostic as I have learnt that is the easiest way to put them off talking to me about it.
    Nanook_rubs_it, nomad and primarycat like this.
  10. MAGAorMIGA

    MAGAorMIGA Star commenter

    I am an atheist because, unlike the faith-based religions, it makes no demands whatsoever on its adherents.
    nomad likes this.
  11. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    Evangelicalism is a Ponzi scheme.
  12. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    Atheism is not a religion.
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Yes, but American die-hard Christians are a very different breed from the food bank-helping, quietly doing good deeds churchgoing Cof E parishioner.
  14. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Atheism is a faith
  15. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    So a higher proportion of black evangelicals linked their religion to their politics than white evangelicals, yet the author of the link riles against white racism.

    There is racism on both sides, but the majority on both sides aren’t racist.
  16. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Atheism is a label given by believers to the out-group. It isn't anything other than that. Virtually no-one "practices" atheism in the way that no-one practices their lack of belief in imps. Some believers however cannot imagine that god is not important even to people who don't believe in god, so we get words to label others.
  17. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Isn't the Church of England supposed to be the Tory party at prayer?
  18. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    It used to be known that way, but it hasn’t been the case for many, many years.
  19. George_Randle

    George_Randle Established commenter

    Blessed be the race obsessed virture signallers, for theirs is the kingdom of righteousness.
    lanokia and nomad like this.
  20. MAGAorMIGA

    MAGAorMIGA Star commenter

    It's a way of seeing and understanding the world. It's rather like one.

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